Innovation Lab partnership wins prestigious national award

Gloucester County Council Press Release – 6 October 2021

An Innovation Lab run by Gloucestershire Libraries has achieved national recognition for a series of school workshops it delivered in partnership with SPP Pumps.

The Contribution to Skills and Training Award was given to SPP Pumps at the Pump Industry Awards 2020, recognising its work with the Innovation Lab at Coleford Library.

It was among four finalists in that category at the awards, which were held recently after being postponed last year due to Covid.

The STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) based workshops took place at the lab throughout 2019 and were aimed at primary aged children from local schools, to raise awareness of local job opportunities and to inspire future careers.

The sponsorship and support from SPP Pumps enabled more than 300 children to get hands on with digital technology including 3D printing, virtual reality, digital design and 360° photography.

Laura Hurcombe, Operations Manager for SPP Pumps, said: “We are so pleased to have received national recognition for the workshop programme in collaboration with the lab – our STEM ambassadors have all learned new skills, motivation and inspiration as a result of the partnership.

“Sadly, most young people in our community believe that they need to leave the area in order to have a successful career and future, so it’s been fantastic to be able to showcase who we are and what we do to the engineers of the future.”

Jane Everiss, Head of Library and Registration Services, said: “Our partnerships and community networks are integral to Gloucestershire Libraries and their labs – this fantastic achievement really highlights the importance and value of forming and maintaining such strong partnerships.”

Cllr Dave Norman, cabinet member for libraries, said: “It is so important to teach children the skills, knowledge and experience they need to be successful in future careers. We are really grateful to SPP Pumps for supporting this initiative – showcasing local opportunities and enabling us to reach even more young people in the Forest of Dean.”

The second Innovation Lab in the county opened last week at Gloucester Library, offering the latest digital design equipment and technical expertise available to boost skills and support employment.

To make an appointment at the Coleford or Gloucester Innovation Lab, email the lab team at

If you’d like to find out more about the project as a business, potential lab technician or partner to work with Gloucestershire Libraries on this exciting programme, please email